Week Ahead

Climate Week Ahead

Groups Eye Infrastructure Law Implementation, Methane Policy Options

December 6, 2021

Groups are assessing how the Biden administration will implement the climate-related aspects of the newly enacted bipartisan infrastructure law, as well as how EPA and other agencies plan to limit emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane as part of a renewed global focus on the issue.

Infrastructure Law

The law firm Van Ness Feldman is hosting a Dec. 8 discussion of the various “funding opportunities” in the recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure law, including grid infrastructure, renewables and clean energy supply chains, alternative vehicles and low-carbon technologies such as carbon capture and hydrogen.

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) are scheduled to discuss the “sweeping sustainability provisions” of the infrastructure law during a Dec. 7 event hosted by Axios.

Methane Policy

Mark Brownstein, a top official with the Environmental Defense Fund, is scheduled to discuss the Global Methane Pledge, during a Dec. 7 event hosted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). The United States and European Union formally launched the agreement at last month’s international climate talks in Scotland. More than 100 countries have joined the pledge to reduce global methane emissions 30 percent by the end of the decade.

The discussion comes as EPA recently floated a proposal to strengthen methane standards for new and existing oil and gas equipment, with the agency also pledging to release a supplemental proposal next year that could further expand requirements for various categories of sources not currently covered by the proposal.

Background Reading: Launch Of Global Pledge Spurs Biden’s Multi-Agency Methane Strategy

House Hearing

The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is holding a Dec. 9 hearing to explore “the potential of clean energy to make electricity bills and transportation costs cheaper for families across America.” The committee says the hearing also will tout proposed aspects of Democrats’ budget “reconciliation” package that would avoid volatile oil and gas prices, help reduce energy prices overall and help businesses achieve clean energy goals.

Net-Zero Targets

International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol is scheduled to appear at a Dec. 10 event hosted by CSIS to discuss a proliferation of countries’ net-zero emission targets following this year’s global climate summit. According to a description of the event, IEA will help inform countries’ efforts to achieve their targets by providing “leading analysis and insights into the global energy system.”

Meanwhile, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is holding a Dec. 9 event to discuss “pathways” to meeting decarbonization goals, including steps to shift to low-carbon energy sources, upgrade the power grid for more variable resources, and increase end-use electrification in various sectors.

Background Reading: Utility Research Group Eyes Need For Major EV Boost To Hit GHG Goals

EV Policy

The group Our Energy Policy is hosting a Dec. 8 event to examine the current state of the electric vehicle (EV) industry, challenges associated with meeting EV deployment goals, and “required policy support” for such targets.

Innovation Policy

Jigar Shah, who runs the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, is scheduled to speak at a Dec. 7 event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center to discuss how his office “will play a crucial role in advancing the commercialization of key technologies that are critical to our nation’s economic and climate goals.”

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation is holding a Dec. 7 webinar to make the case for “further innovation” in wind and solar energy technologies in order to “catalyze a massive clean energy buildout to reduce emissions and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Sustainable Investing

Former Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, who served during the Trump administration, is scheduled to speak at a Dec. 7 webinar hosted by the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute to discuss the Biden administration’s proposal to enable pension plan managers to consider climate and other environment, social and governance (ESG) factors in their investment decisions.

Background Reading: DOL Official Touts Consensus On Plan To Consider Climate Risk In Pensions

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